Georgetown Ditch

From 1-18 miles from Georgetown. Easy.

Ditches make awesome trails because they go everywhere and are nearly level. A common standard was 50 feet of drop per mile. Most abandoned ditches are protected relics historically and there-fore off limits for improvements that could enhance them as trails.

An exception somehow was made for the Robie Trail that traces from Cool to Dru Barner C.G. where extensive old ditch was used above the Canyon Creek section.

The Georgetown Ditch works today to bring water from Pilot Creek, below Stumpy Meadows, through Georgetown, and on to Pilot Hill and Kelsey. It meanders along Wentworth Springs Rd., dives into a tunnel near Hotchkiss Hill, resurfaces closer to town before going behind the elementary school one way, and behind Mar Val the other.

Easement issues abound however, as many people who live next to the ditch object to other people walking so close to their houses. Some have put up “no trespassing” signs to discourage hikers. In discussions with the water company (GDPUD), I learned that the matter is ambiguous and has not been tried in local courts, but the company certainly has an easement right for maintaining the ditch.

The public’s right to hike similar ditches in the Nevada City area was validated in their local court and the ditch system was deemed a public entity and thus covered by sec. 1008 Cal. Code. We need someone to push the issue, get arrested, and then establish our hiking rights in court. Any volunteers?

There is plenty of ditch out of town if you wish to remain safe legally. The section along the way to University Falls comes to mind and I often enjoy the section from Fox Run along to Hotchkiss hill.

2 Responses to Georgetown Ditch

  1. miah says:

    The ditches are on private property and practically run through our back yard. Although you might be a great person its kind of an invasion of our privacy. Not everyone is good.. and would tend to think you might just get a gun pointed at you in Georgetown which is definitely no Nevada City. Great website none the less. Have a great day.


    • Tom Petersen says:

      I know this is a problem for some people, but the ditches were there first (!800″s) and they make excellent trails. Most of the preferred sections for hiking are up-country away from houses. This NIMBY (not in my backyard) this is unique to America. Tom


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